Coca-Cola Co. has closed a bottling plant in northern India that activists had campaigned against for a decade, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Activists blame the facility for depleting groundwater and undermining agriculture in the region.
In an announcement Wednesday, Coca-Cola didn’t explain why it had closed the factory in Kaladera, one of more than 50 plants that produce fizzy drinks for the company in India.
“Should there be a change in demand and volume, like all other plants, we may utilize the capacity of Kaladera in the future,” it said.
“Coke drained us of water,” Mahesh Yogi, of activist group Kaladera Sangharsh Samiti, was quoted as saying.
“Water meant for poor farmers and their fields was time and again diverted to the factory.”
The company said the “plant is a user of a minuscule share of water at Kaladera, tapping much less than a percent of area’s available water”.
A 2006 assessment of the plant, which was built in 2000, and others, commissioned by the company, warned that water levels in the region were already dangerously low.
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